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Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program for Low-Income Children

  • By: Kathryn Smith
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis (sometimes noted as Diagnostic), and Treatment (EPSDT) program is a component of Medicaid that aims to improve the health and well-being of all children under the age of 21 years by ensuring preventive and comprehensive health services. In 1965, the Medicaid program was enacted mandating coverage for poor children, and in 1967, EPSDT was added as a benefit to promote healthy child development and to prevent and treat conditions of childhood. Essentially, EPSDT is the child health benefit of Medicaid. In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act allowed EPSDT to be an optional benefit within State Children's Health Insurance Programs, which are operated separately from the state's Medicaid program. The program has two components: (1) ensuring the availability and accessibility of ...

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